Students in Honors Anatomy and Physiology class have been busy taking on the challenges of learning about the nervous system. Recently, the class had the opportunity to dissect sheep brains in lab class.
We experienced a hands-on approach to studying the anatomy of the brain and discussing the roles the different regions play. After diving into the anatomy and physiology of glial cells and neurons, and roles the central and peripheral nervous systems play, the class had a special opportunity to simulate what damage to the nerve cells in the brain might actually BE like. The Senior Community Ambassador from Silverado, Bee Cave Memory Care provided our students with an opportunity to do a dementia simulation for which they donned special gloves, glasses, headphones and shoe inserts that delivered a unique experience.
After the simulation, one student wrote, “The neuropathy in the feet was painful, and the lessened mobility and distracting noises made it difficult to clearly follow the instructions. I was forgetting things and wandering. I definitely gained a new understanding and empathy for people suffering with dementia.”
Dementia is typically characterized by a decline in mental function with symptoms that often include difficulty using language, personality changes, disorientation, memory loss and problems preforming the activities of daily living.
Our class is thankful for these exceptional opportunities that add to our educational experience as we look to not only learn about human anatomy and physiology, but also examine common disease processes and their pathophysiology in a way that enriches the learning process.